How happy are you that the sun is out?! I don’t know about you but that was a long winter for me and my Southern California skin living the winters of Central Oregon. In the past few weeks, I have made it floating on the river, to the lakes and camping at the ocean. I love soaking up the sun! However, I know that with my family history of skin cancer, I need to make sure I am protecting myself from the dangers of UVA and UVB rays with a mineral sunscreen.
Did you know that not all sunscreens are made of the same ingredients? The majority of sunscreens currently available are made up of chemicals that are now under scrutiny by the FDA. What is the alternative? Mineral Based sunscreens which the FDA has determined are safe and effective. Chemical sunscreens absorb into the skin and thus into your body. Chemicals such as oxybenzone and avobenzone, protect the skin by absorbing the sun’s rays. Mineral sunscreens don’t get absorbed into your body at all. They sit on top of the skin and absorbs the rays of the sun. In mineral based sunscreens you will usually see these two ingredients separately or together. zinc oxide and titanium oxide. The evidence is out more than ever why if you haven’t already, you should switch to a mineral based sunscreen now.
Mineral Sunscreen is Less Likely to Irritate Sensitive Skin
Chemical sunscreens can aggravate the skin causing skin blemishes and even acne. Mineral sunscreens are less irritating for people that have sensitive skin.
Provides Protection Against the Full Spectrum of UV Radiation
Chemical sunscreens contain filters that protect against UVB radiation. This type of radiation damages the superficial layers of the skin and causes sunburns. Mineral based sunscreens protect the skin from UVA and UVB radiation. UVA is the wavelength that goes through glass windows and clouds. The mineral sunscreen should say something like “full spectrum” meaning it protects you against UVA and UVB radiation.
Mineral Sunscreen Protects the Skin Right After Application
Chemical sunscreens have to absorb into the skin before they work to protect the skin, usually for 20-30 minutes. Mineral Sunscreens, protect the skin by physically screening the rays from the sun. This means mineral sunscreens are effective once they are applied.
Does NO Harm to Aquatic Environments
Turns out all of these chemical sunscreens are toxic to aquatic environments. Just a small amount of chemicals is enough to cause corals to bleach, thus killing them. Two studies led by the NOAA (National Center for Coastal Ocean Sciences) concluded that the chemicals in sunscreens are causing destruction to all types of aquatic life.
Forms a Layer on the Skin Rather Than Absorbing Into Skin
Chemicals in the chemical sunscreens have to absorb into the skin in order for the sunscreen to work. A recent study done by the FDA found that sunscreen enters the bloodstream within 24 hours of being rubbed into the skin. Not all products absorbed into the skin cause harm to the body but there have been studies linking these harmful chemicals to health issues in the body. Mineral based sunscreens do not absorb into the body but if they were to, they are non-toxic for the body and can even be used on babies.
Chemical sunscreens are full of names that you cannot pronounce. It is no wonder studies are finally being done about the safety of our sunscreens that we put all over our bodies and then get washed into our oceans, rivers, and lakes. The Environmental Working Group says oxybenzone has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. Oxybenzone along with many other chemicals and some parabens and preservatives make chemical sunscreens very unsafe for humans or the Earth. Mineral sunscreens, with “non-nano” zinc-oxide are considered safe for humans and their environment and they do a great job at protecting from skin damage.
Choosing a mineral based sunscreen can get pricey when you are using it on a family of 5. So, many years ago I formulated this Natural Sunscreen that I used on my family and myself. My children have never used a chemical sunscreen. This formulation I turned into Earthie Mama Organic Sunscreen and I have it available for everyone in my shop.
Making sure you have adequate sunscreen protection is important to protect yourself from skin damage, skin cancer and aging marks. By using a mineral based sunscreen on your skin, you can consider yourself fully protected from the sun without harmful chemicals. Skin cancer is serious and wearing hats, light clothing and sunscreen is the best prevention.
Have fun in the sun!!
Originally published at earthiemama.com and reproduced here with permission.